Professor Rachel Singel: "I think, therefore I CREATE"

Professor Rachel Singel is featured on a billboard as part of the "I think, therefore I DO” campaign sponsored by UofL College of Arts and Sciences. The billboard is located at I-64 West @ 15th Street. 

Department:Fine Arts 
M.F.A., University of Iowa, 2013 B.A., University of Virginia, 2009       
Current Research:
Printmaking in Venice, Italy

How did you get involved in printmaking and why did you pursue it professionally and academically?
When I started college at the University of Virginia, I did not really know what printmaking was. My Introduction to Drawing instructor recommended that I take a printmaking course with Prof. Dean Dass, so I did. By the end of the course I had officially declared printmaking as my major.

What made printmaking special for me was the community. I loved that everyone was working together in the same studio, and that the option of making multiples allowed for collaborative book projects and portfolio exchanges.

As Prof. Dass would always say, “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.” My interpretation of this quote is that no matter an artist's original intent, having a medium such as printmaking that demands constant problem solving along the way, reinforces and further develops technical abilities and ideas. So the very act of printmaking itself can help artists grow.         

Who or what inspires you?
I am extremely lucky to have had truly inspiring professors including Prof. Dass, Prof. Akemi Ohira (University of Virginia), Prof. Anita Jung (University of Iowa), and many others!

Why are the arts important in public life? In education?
The arts can bring people together, allowing for personal expression and shared experience. I love teaching art because you get to see students develop their visual voices and guide them through learning new processes. These lessons can reinforce knowledge and understanding of other subjects, such as chemistry and physics.

If you could go to dinner with three people living or dead, who would you invite and what would you eat (and drink)?
I would appreciate the opportunity to have some soup and tea with Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, and Mahatma Gandhi.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

More about Rachel.

Rachel Singel billboard

Professor Delin Lai co-edits book on Modern Chinese Architecture

"The History of Modern Chinese Architecture" is a five-volume book published in August 2016 by China Architecture & Building Press, the most prestigious academic publisher of architectural books in China. Professor Delin Lai (Lead editor), co-edited with Drs. Wu Jiang, and Xu Subin, and worked with over 50 scholars and 30 researchers from 32 universities in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, France, Germany, and the United States to complete this extensive book project.

This book is one of the key books in China’s twelfth national plan and received the sponsorship of the National Publication Foundation. This book is a significant landmark in the study of modern Chinese cities and architecture, and will provide a new foundation for the future development in this field.

Congratulations, Dr. Lai!
Delin Lai books

Professor Meena Khalili invited to participate in national project

Professor Meena Khalili has been invited to take part in a national project called “Type Hike: A Typographic Exploration of America’s National Parks.” This project features a collection of posters by 59 designers and typographers and benefits the National Park Service as it celebrates its centennial.

In October 2016, Communication Arts Magazine featured TypeHike Project in their online magazine and will be featuring it in print along with an interview with Type Hike participant David Carson in the coming months.

Design by Meena Khalili for Typehike

Douglas Miller's drawings in Joan Shelley's song video premiere

We would like to wish a big congratulation to our MFA student, Douglas Miller! His most recent drawing and animation piece has been featured in an art music video premiere. Released by NPR, his animated video features hundreds of drawings shot frame by frame and corresponds to Joan Shelley’s “Cost of the Cold”. Congrats, Douglas!

Award-winning book cover design by Lauren Michelle Smith

Lauren Michelle Smith, Hite Art Institute Graphic Design BFA ’11, has received three awards for her book cover designs at the University of Chicago Press. Her design for the cover of Making Marie Curie by Eva Hemmings Wirten was recognized in two different design competitions. It was selected for “50 Books/50 Covers,” a prestigious competition started by AIGA in 1923 that is run annually. The competition is juried by respected designers and is now managed by Design Observer. The same cover was also one of 40 out of 348 entries selected for the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) Book, Jacket and Journal Show for 2016.

In 2015, another cover design by Smith — Walls: Enclosures and Ethics in the Modern Landscape by Thomas Oles — was also selected for the AAUP competition.

After completing her BFA in 2011 in graphic design, Lauren was one of four recent graduates from around the country selected for Chronicle Books (San Francisco) Fellows program — a six-month fellowship program in the world of book design. Lauren received the position for the Children’s Book Fellow. After completing her fellowship, Smith continued to work at Chronicle full-time for an additional year as a contract designer.

In June 2013, Smith was hired by the University of Chicago Press, where she was recently promoted to Senior Designer.

Book design cover

Book Design by Lauren Smith

Hite Art Institute showcases the work of Gaela Erwin

Through Aug. 13, the Hite Art Institute is presenting the work of renowned Louisville artist Gaela Erwin at the Cressman Center for Visual Arts.

The exhibition, “Gaela Erwin: Mother,” chronicles the last days of Erwin’s mother in pastel and photography. The show serves as both a memorial and a study in art, care and grief.

The exhibition was conceived in collaboration with the Speed Art Museum’s show “Gaela Erwin: Reframing the Past” running July 30-Oct. 30. “Mother” serves an entry to “Reframing the Past” featuring Erwin’s earlier work, along with photographic studies and documentation of her artistic practice.

Erwin, who has a studio in Louisville and earned a master of arts from the University of Louisville, has exhibited prominently throughout the Southeast and Midwest and received numerous awards, fellowships and artist residencies nationally and internationally. Her subject matter is self-portraiture in oils or pastels and most recently her paintings examine self-portraiture through the guise and lore of saints.

“‘Mother’ marks a transformation in Erwin’s practice from self-analysis into explorations of grief, caretaking and family dynamics,” said Chris Reitz, gallery director of the Hite Art Institute. “These very personal images, often composed in the style or format of neoclassical portraiture or saintly icons, fold the life of the artist into the history of art. In doing so, they transform the deeply personal and specific into the timeless and universal.”

Kathryn Harrington receives the first federal photography internship

Kathryn Harrington (BFA student) received the first federal photography internship established in Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth's office. This prestigious internship is created with the help of Professor Mary Carothers. This week Kathryn Harrington and her mentor Professor Carothers are visiting Washington D.C., meeting with Congressman Yarmuth and other federal offices and monuments.

Kathryn Harrington documents Police Brutality protest, Washington D.C.

Federal Photography intern Kathryn Harrington met with Congressman John Yarmuth in his Washington D.C. office on July 7, 2016.

Professor Delin Lai publishes a new book

Changing Ideals in Modern China and Its Historiography of Architecture, Beijing: Zhonguo Jianzhu Gongye Chubanshe, 2016. The book is a historiographical study of the works of six pioneer Chinese architectural historians, Yue Jiazao (1869-1944), Zhu Qiqian (1871-1964), Liang Sicheng (1901-1972), Liu Dunzhen (1897-1968), Lin Huiyin (1904-1955), and the Manchurian architect Tong Jun (1900-1983).

Professor Mary Carothers receives national recognition

Americans For The Arts recognizes three of Louisville’s Public Art projects

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, has honored three Louisville Metro Public Art projects, all of which were a part of Connect│Disconnect: A Public Art Experience on view during fall 2015. Americans for the Arts honored 38 outstanding public arts projects created in 2015 through the Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art.

“To have three of 38 nationally recognized public art projects come from Louisville is a terrific honor,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Last fall’s Connect│Disconnect brought a community together to experience a temporary art walk on the Louisville Loop and the Ohio River in an overlooked location, opening the door for such spaces to be considered platforms for public art. Future public art initiatives will continue to provide opportunities for artists to present new work in public spaces.”

The Connect │Disconnect artworks selected by American for the Arts are Beneath the Surface by artist Mary Carothers, Upriver/Downriver by artist Mark Reigelman II, and River Monument (glomus) by artist collaborative SIMPARCH. The works were chosen from 260 entries across the country and recognized today at Americans for the Arts’ 2016 Annual Convention in Boston.

“These Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate that public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. Whether subtly beautiful or vibrantly jolting, a public artwork has the singular ability to make citizens going about everyday business stop, think, and through the power of art appreciate a moment, no matter how brief,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

Connect│Disconnect ran from August 28 – November 30, 2015 on the Louisville Loop between 8th and 12th Streets and was the first project commissioned by Louisville Metro in collaboration with the Commission on Public Art.

The 2016 PAN Year in Review jurors were Lucas Antony Cowan, Public Art Curator of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Boston; Constance Y. White, Lead Creative of SLDcreative in Dallas, Texas; and Franka Diehnelt, Co-owner of merge conceptual design in Santa Monica, California.

The Public Art Network (PAN), a program of Americans for the Arts, is designed to provide services to the diverse field of public art and to develop strategies and tools to improve communities through public art. The network’s constituents are public art professionals, visual artists, design professionals, and communities and organizations planning public art projects and programs.

For more information on Public Art, please visit

Elizabeth Smith receives curatorial internship

Elizabeth Driscoll Smith (MA in Art History, 2016; Advisor: Jongwoo Jeremy Kim) has received a curatorial internship at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. During her internship, she will work with Dr. Tricia Y. Paik, Curator of Contemporary Art. Elizabeth's MA Thesis "Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and the Collapse of Surrealist Photography" examines how Cahun and Moore—lovers and artists affiliated with the Surrealist movement during the 1930s—reworked Sigmund Freud’s writings on fetishism to disrupt and question the conventional notions of sexual difference. Elizabeth currently holds the position of Research Assistant at the Speed Art Museum, where she was the Hite-Speed Fellow in 2015.

Kajen Duvall accepted to Leuven, Belgium for graduate study

Kajen Duvall, graduating from UofL’s Hite Art Institute with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, will continue her studies in a Master’s program in Cultural Studies that focuses on visual art at the University of Leuven, Belgium—one of Europe’s most historic and prestigious universities. She will begin her two-year graduate program in January, where her first semester will be dedicated to semiotic theories and their applications in art.

Kajen recently received honors for research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by Transylvania University in April. She presented her research on the Dada artist George Grosz, analyzing his illustration Shut Up and Soldier On (Christ With a Gas Mask, 1928).

She was also one of the Hite Institute students to travel to Italy in December through a department grant. While preparing to leave for Belgium, Kajen works at the recently reopened Speed Art Museum where she volunteers in administration for the curatorial department.

Professor Benjamin Hufbauer's article published in Politico

How Trump’s Favorite Movie Explains Him

The GOP nominee-presumptive is an American archetype out of Citizen Kane. If only he understood the film’s point better.
By Benjamin Hufbauer
June 6, 2016

Meet Critical & Curatorial Studies Professor Chris Reitz

Assistant Professor Chris Reitz (Head of Critical and Curatorial Studies Program and Gallery Director at the Hite Art Institute) focuses on transnational practices in art and exhibitions of the past 30 years, with a particular emphasis on art and the art market in the era of neoliberalism.

Working previously as a project manager at Public Art Fund in New York and as an independent curator, Prof. Reitz also has written for The White Review, Texte zur Kunst, and N+1,, and is a contributor to a number of exhibition catalogues on subjects ranging from Kosovar video art to the work of Santiago Sierra.

Prof. Reitz’s latest curatorial project, New Monuments: Sanford Biggers; Laocoon, is on view at the Cressman Center for Visual Arts from May 4-July 2. The New Monuments series is an irregularly scheduled series of one-work exhibitions. The idea is to turn over the entire space of the Cressman Center to one particularly significant object created in the last year, and to use this emphasis to think about the work's contemporary cultural, social, and/or economic context as well as its significance within the history of art.

“Oftentimes, art history classes will be organized around a collection of key images or objects,” Prof. Reitz said. “If you’ve taken an art history class you may remember putting together a group of flashcards to memorize—images with artist names and production dates.

“These ‘monuments lists’ are the foundation of many art history classes, and the idea behind this series is to bring those lists to life,” he said. “The New Monuments are objects that emerge from contemporary life, but nevertheless reach back into the history of art.

“You can think of this series as an update to the stack of art history flash cards—one that hopefully animates the old list in the process.”

Department: Fine Arts
Years at UofL:
Ph.D., Princeton University, Modern and Contemporary Art, 2015; B.A., Vassar College, 2005

Current Research Interests:
I write about the production, exhibition, and exchange of contemporary art. I'm particularly interested in the relationship between the art market and processes of economic globalization, and the ways in which artists and curators resist or affirm such processes.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work?  Not so much the goals that are in your job description, but the goals you hold personally?
To write a few good books and to curate a few good exhibitions. I teach in the Critical and Curatorial Studies program, and historically those practices--criticism and curation--have been completely different enterprises. In some ways they're still incompatible. Yet today's curators are expected to maintain a critical vocabulary, and the role of "curator" now includes such a wide range of activities that the term is something of a catchall. One goal is to help resolve the relationship between criticism and curation--to help develop a model for critical curatorial practice, and to continue to produce critical art historical writing grounded in art objects and their organization.

Current event students should know more about and why?
If only there were just a solitary, underexposed event or issue in need of attention! On the contrary, we are in many respects lucky to live in an era of exposure--to issues, events, problems, and concerns big and small. Such exposure is due, in large measure, to advances in social media. However, this type of exposure can come at the expense of sustained analysis and critique. Analysis and critique are, I suppose, what I think students should know about.

What was the best meal you’ve ever had? Why?
My wife's birthday dinner at a little Italian restaurant in central Pennsylvania, October of 2013. Three months prior Julie had undergone a very complicated emergency brain surgery and it left her totally unable to swallow. This meal was the first time she was able to eat somewhat normal food after months of feeding tubes, speech therapy, and unpalatable thick-liquid meal supplements. I have no idea what I ate, but she had the vegetarian lasagna, spaghetti squash, and lemon ice for desert.

If you could live in any other time, when might that be? Why?
I'm optimistic about the future, despite plenty of evidence (economic, social, ecological) that the future may be bleak. So if I could live in any other time I'd like to live there--a month from now, a year, a decade. The artists and writers that I know and admire are restless. They're fatigued by the current state of art exchange and critique and are actively pursuing alternatives. Such things (alternatives, discoveries, solutions) are forever just around the corner.

Professor Ying Kit Chan exhibits at Artspace in Oklahoma City

Environmental ethics-a philosophical study of the moral relationship between human beings and nature and the value that society extends to the environment-is a reoccurring theme in Ying Kit Chan's more than three decades of art making. Utilizing a wide range of media, the artist employs this philosophy alongside Taoist and Buddhist ideologies to examine our relationship with nature, from the mental impact of contemplation to the actions resulting in environmental degradation. The works selected for "GeoEthics" highlight the artist's conceptual development and explore environmental ethics through three themes: oil spills, industrial landscapes, and philosophical thought.

Exhibition: May 26 to July 16, 2016
Reception: Thursday, May 26 at 5-8 pm; Gallery talk: 6 pm

Professor Ying Kit Chan presented work at the Contemporary Art Center

Currently one of Professor Ying Kit Chan's large works is included in “Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered,” a group exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati which runs from April 22 through August 14, 2016. Professor Chan’s work is featured on the cover of the exhibition catalog.

Douglas Miller to show in Alaska

Current MFA candidate, Douglas Miller has been invited to participate in a bear themed exhibition at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, Alaska, from June 2nd-25th.

Given Alaska’s importance to the health of North American bear populations, a targeted exhibition of art featuring bears as subject matter is organized to coincide with International Conference on Bear Research and Management.

This conference brings international bear biologists and researchers to present current research findings on bear species, and participate in public education and outreach sessions pertinent bear biology and cultural anthropology.

Congratulations, Douglas!














In the undone, 19X25 inches, pencil, watercolor, and dirt on paper. 2016.

Graphic Design Portfolio Day 2016 Recap

More than 100 design and industry professionals attended the BFA Portfolio Review on April 22nd. The 14 BFA candidates posed with their Red Berets — a tradition started several years ago to signify they are alums of the Hite Art Institute's Communication Art & Design program.

• Carrie Donovan was this year's winner of a Gold BoB (Best of the Best) Award.  The BoB Award is funded by Bob Gaeta, Vice President at Welch Printing.
• Amy Woods was one of two recipients of a Silver BoB Award.
• Blythe Magnuson also received a Silver BoB Award.
• Molly Bumpous received the Red Beret Award, voted on by alums of our graphic design program.

This year's class was full of strong portfolios. Congratulations to Molly Bumpous, Izzy Cable, Carrie Donovan, Kat Flaherty, Bella Hodge, Peter Ho, Sydney Langsdale, Blythe Magnuson, Adam Nicol, Ca Nguyen, Claire Reynolds, Elizabeth Ryan, Jared Wagner, and Amy Woods.

Mary Clore wins inaugural Dario Covi award

Congratulations to Mary Clore, winner of the inaugural Dario Covi Scholarship award. And of course a very special thank you to Madeline Covi for establishing this tremendous scholarship!

Hite art students reimagine stories of the Ohio River

What does the Ohio River bring to mind?

Is it a biome? A threat? A provider of livelihoods?

For students participating in “36 Miles: Revealing the Ohio,” a collaborative, creative research project, the river is all of these things and more.

Gresham, Smith and Partners’ Urban Design and Landscape Architecture Studio hosted “36 Miles” in partnership with UofL’s Hite Art Institute and the University of Kentucky Department Of Landscape Architecture.

The purpose of the project is to bridge art and design education, increase environmental awareness and connect people with Louisville’s hallmark waterway.

“The goal is to reconnect the general public with the history and culture of the river by telling its story in an approachable, highly visual way,” said Louis R. Johnson, project manager with Gresham, Smith and Partners. “The team will reveal important moments in Louisville’s River History and special places unknown to many residents.”

The project resulted in an exhibition at the newly opened Louisville Visual Arts, 1538 Lytle St., through May 13. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Nine students from Hite’s advanced photography class, taught by associate professor Mary Carothers, participated in the project and have pieces on display.

“My artwork examines the river as the backbone of Louisville,” said Hite student Kelsi Wermuth. “Its vital existence is the reason human beings settled in the area. Just as the spine is the main neurological delivery system in our bodies, more cargo is delivered through the Ohio River than any other water system in our nation. This photographic sculpture references the life this geographical feature gives humanity.”River as Spine- kelsi Wermuth 1

Two Hite students have fathers who are both river boat captains, which inspired their pieces.

Chelsea Wolfe used texts and pictures of her father’s location on his boat’s route with coordinates to compile a large-scale photo map of his trip.

Kathryn Harrington worked with her father to choose their favorite images from his trips to create an archive of what the river means to him as a captain: a livelihood, way of life and home away from home.

Carothers, who has also created art tied to the river, said she was impressed with what the students accomplished through the project, and hopes to continue the work in the future.

“I’d love to design a class around it,” she said.

Courier Journal:

Katlyn Brumfield receives the Best College Honors Thesis Award

Fine Arts graduating senior Katlyn Brumfield’s honor thesis “A World in Flux: Envisioning Climate Change from an Ecocentric Perspective” received the “Best College Honors Thesis Project” award in the Humanities Division. This thesis is truly multidisciplinary: her thesis director is Professor Ying Kit Chan (Fine Arts), and committee members are Professor John Gibson (Philosophy) and Professor Margaret Carreiro (Biology).

Katlyn will be graduating magna cum laude in May 2016. She has produced a large charcoal drawing entitled “Bioverse I” as part of her thesis.

Image: Katlyn Brumfield, "Bioverse I," 72” x 45”, charcoal on paper, 2016.